The return of Freddy Garcia

July, 19, 2009
7/19/09
2:59
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive

Former White Sox starter Freddy Garcia returned to Chicago on Sunday, and will throw a side session for pitching coach Don Cooper on Monday afternoon. Garcia signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox after receiving an unconditional release from the New York Mets earlier in the season.

A 16-game-winning pitcher for the 2005 World Series champion Sox, Garcia is just one year removed from right shoulder surgery to repair his labrum. According to team sources, Garcia is topping out at 85 mph on the radar gun, after only hitting 81 or 82 during his tenure with the Mets.

Garcia told a small media gathering before Sunday's game that his arm and shoulder are pain-free.

"Velocity doesn't really matter for me," he said. "I can get people out if I throw 83 or 88. As long as my arm strength is there, I'm OK."

The White Sox will give right-hander Garcia, righty Bartolo Colon and lefty Clayton Richard a brief opportunity to fill the No. 5 spot in the rotation. General Manager Ken Williams is looking for a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, not a fifth starter, in any deal that he constructs.

The team would also like to add a speed player who can play solid defense in center field. Brian Anderson and Dewayne Wise will become backup players when Carlos Quentin returns to the White Sox.

The Sox are looking for someone like Baltimore's Felix Pie, who brings both speed and defense. Neither Anderson nor Wise has that combined dimension.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.290 29 74 52
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 29
RBIJ. Abreu 74
RJ. Abreu 52
OPSJ. Abreu .954
WC. Sale 9
ERAJ. Quintana 3.15
SOJ. Quintana 118